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I think I lost my tape. The tape from yesterday where I interviewed Rika, granted wishes to new agers, tourists, rumi lovers and a guy in a navy pinstripe suit on Burrard and Robson street. Took shots of toy dogs and running shoes spinning like a mobile in a cherry tree. An interview with myself about why I dress up in a wedding dress with flowers on it, stick glitter on my face, and flowers in my hair. I remembered why I loved you yesterday, why I love Vancouver, because my mind and heart get changed all the time. I had that on tape, this tape. I think I didn’t change the tape at the Beach, I just remembered, and my sweet mom just went down to look in the sand for me, because she lives in the West End, close to the Beach. I’m so out of it. It still may be gone. I have this yellow raincoat with holes everywhere, and there is a perfect tape size hole in my pocket. I still might need some extra praying, but I probably just need to sleep, and finish this thing, see my Mom, and give her a very big hug.
Received this obituary through my school e-mail. Liked it, now it’s here.
jan 2, 2009
Billy Little: October 14, 1943 – January 1, 2009
Jamie Reid writes
Our dear comrade and brother poet, Billy Little, slipped away from this life at about 5 AM on New Years Day. It almost seems to me as if he were imitating one of his idols, dada hero Tristan Tzara, who died on Christmas Day in 1963. For several days he had been telling his friends that each day might be his last, but he hung on and continued to breathe one day after another for several days, until finally he lost the ability to speak and passed away. Billy spent his last days on his beloved Hornby Island, surrounded by his friends.
He had been resigned to this final result since hearing from his doctors last January that the abdominal cancer through which he had endured several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery would finally take his life in a matter of months rather than years. He lived the months that were left to him with great courage and good humour, sometimes in tears, he told me once, that he should have to leave the world, the life and the people that he loved with such passion and devotion. The people at his bedside near the end, his son Matt Little, Gordon Payne and his caregiver, Colleen Work, confirmed that through his last hours, though he could not speak, he was clearly smiling.
Billy’s son, Matt, will be inviting friends to the Hornby Island ball park on Sunday, January 4. In commemoration of Billy’s life-long devoted attachment to books and ideas, Matt will be handing out items from Billy’s book collection.
Further notice of an expanded memorial event will be posted later.
Typically, Billy left his life with a jest, a protest, leaving behind his own obituary:
after decades of passion, dedication to world peace and justice, powerful frindships, recognition, being loved undeservedly by extraordinary women, a close and powerful relationship with a strong, handsome, capable, thoughtful son Matt, a never ending stream of amusing ideas, affections shared with a wide range of creative men and women, a long residence in the paradisical landscape of hornby island, sucess after sucess in the book trade, fabulous meals, unmeasurable inebriation, dancing beyond exhaustion, satori after satori,
billy little regrets he’s unable to schmooze today.
in lieu of flowers please send a humongous donation to the war resisters league.
I’d like my tombstone to read:
hydro is too expensive
but I’d like my mortal remains to be set adrift on a flaming raft off chrome island